This concept would inspire a reinvention for Stadiums & Shrines, the music website I run with visual artist Nathaniel Whitcomb and photographer Victoria Masters. Just months after I’d taken part in Dustin’s dream series, S&S introduced its new core initiative, “Dreams,” inviting artists to compose original scores for Nathaniel’s handmade collages, composites of vintage tourism photography depicting locales from a bygone era. As its first recruit, Dustin finished his "Dream of Japan" just after Thrill Jockey Records released Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads (which would top S&S’ favorite albums of 2012 and remains forever in its DNA). Subsequently, he’d ask us if it was "cool" to include "Japan" on 2013 LP Mediation of Ecstatic Energy: the answer was yes, very cool.
Meanwhile, a new creative partner had entered Dustin’s universe. In the summer of 2011, he’d met experimental artist and former Shibuya-kei singer Takako Minekawa. Mutual fans—Takako owned Infinite Love, Dustin had been listening to her work since the late 90s—they exchanged emails after one of his Tokyo shows. Dustin returned in the winter of 2012 and the pen pals started jamming. It was a revelation for both, given his hesitance to record with others again, and her decade-long hiatus from music entirely.
Dustin and Takako’s story is told here, with excerpts from a recollection between the two, transcribed from Japanese. The interview can be heard in full on Side B of SC008. Side A features “Payapaya”, a song written for this very project, paired with a collage Nathaniel made while listening to it. We’ve come full circle now, or perhaps, are now dreaming in reverse.
The duo released Toropical Circle in 2013. The title and self-directed, pastel-flickering video for “Party on a Floating Cake” sums up the record’s vibe: playful, primal, cozy, cosmic. It’s perhaps lighter and less restrained than anything the two had made individually to date. And 2014’s Savage Imagination would explore this lightness even further.
Singles Club is a subscription record club and digital music journal published quarterly. This single contains an exclusive A-Side recording from the artist along with an interview on the B-Side featuring the artist's description of the project and track.
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